Donor transplant surgery, see note for photo credit

Donor transplant surgery, see note for photo credit

There are 121, 227 in the US waiting for a life-saving organ. Facing no chance for survival, they are hoping for a second chance at life. The sad part of this equation is that someone must lose their life in order to give life. Of those waiting for a miracle in the US, 100,419 need a kidney. Patients in need of a liver are 14,753. In my state of North Carolina, there are 3,019 on a waiting list. Sadly, there was a decrease in donation between the last two years: 2015 had 238 versus 277 in 2014.
I had the privilege of attending the Lifeshare donor appreciation dinner in Charlotte last week. On display were quilt squares of recent donors, including my grandson, Gabriel, whose heart tissue and eyes were donated after his death at age four. One speaker at the event was the recipient of lungs. He noted that his donor had the same passion for scuba diving as he. He said life is amazing, and he doesn’t take it for granted as he walks around with another person’s lungs inside his body. With tears in his eyes, a father told of leaving his native India to find hope in America where his young child was saved by a liver transplant. His wife brought the cute little girl up front so she could personally say thanks. Her appearance brought smiles and tears.
At the conclusion of the event, our speaker told us he had a surprise in store for us. We waited in anticipation because we knew at any moment a mystery guest or guests would walk through the double doors at the back of the room. The suspense built, the doors open, and in walked a line of people holding large signs. One sign said, THANK YOU FOR MY HEART. Another sign said, THANK YOU FOR MY LIFE, another THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
They were all recipients of donated organs, given a second chance at life. As they lined up across the front of the room, there was not a dry eye in the room. Thank goodness little tissue packets were on the table because some of us were sobbing.
We don’t know if we will live a long life or if it will be cut short. Become an organ donor by indicating it on your DMV license or by going to the Lifeshare website. Something good can come from something tragic. You could be someone’s second chance, someone’s miracle.
NOTE: The photo taken by Betsy Miner-Swartz and shared on Facebook by Bruce Nicely was taken during surgery for an organ recipient. A moment of silence for the donor and the donor’s family is observed before every transplant of an organ, tissue, or eye donation. Bruce Nicely is the Chief Clinical Officer at Gift of Life Michigan. He is the former director of Carolina Donor Services in Durham. Thanks to Lifeshare Facebook page, I became aware of the powerful photo.

About Susan MIlls Wilson

Susan Mills Wilson is a native of North Carolina where she writes romantic suspense. She is the leader of the Charlotte Writers Club Mystery Critique Group and a member of Charlotte Writers Club. Subscribe to Susan’s blog at
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